A long set of poems borne of lonely anger. Covid is not my illness, but it may have bested me – financially, figuratively & finally. Were I suicidal, I would already be dead of it. See my images as your own but don’t dwell here long. Love, Carol
THE DISEASE OF UNEASE
How can I not miss all that I miss?
A body so warm beside me
The wash of the sea
That salt-morning light
So soon it all changes
Once again the more & the less
Will lead me a dance divine:
The motherless child
A fatherless girl
A sister-less life
A brother unknown –
The nights like this:
A season at end; another not begun
A time of silvered stars
The rime of the horizon
A single setting at table
A single serving.
I no longer complain or marvel
I am simply through it
Through with it
I long for a bosom
To weep upon
A tickle to laugh, a limerick rhyme?
I yearn for a life which will never be mine
My nights spent alone on the staircase of time
Not poems that wait till the last word to rhyme.
Bold as brass, I steer forth upon my course
Unstayed by wind, by aching hands
By sullen feet
My eyes sore of missing faces
My heart salted by loneliness & faintly sour
Faulted by sinecure of sin
I have climbed over decades
Searching an easier path
Than this, uneven stone & shale.
I have bared my soul a thousand times
Only to redresss it, bringing it home
To sleep beneath my pillow.
The music defines the moment
One key on a piano
Tapping against time
The days all lit. I gather change about me
Cashmere in comfort
I see my way clear to home
While night approaches
A feral cat, seeking succor
A black thing with green eyes
A pat upon its head
A sufferance for food.
A narrow bed
I am grateful to rest into
The universe hangs upon my wall
A purple swag of planets to behold
A memory I live at the center.
THE POST-COVID WORLD
A 50-50 chance
Of having a car
A place to live
Food to table
I am no soldier
Yet somehow signed up to march in this lockstep dream
Before the lemming rush
Before the bodies take, wingless, to air
I have my life lived already
Enough to spin in front of me
No matter the height from which I fall.
I look to you, my divinations
The round cards before me
Shaping a Celtic Cross
You unfold a fervor of vision only
Dizzying with foresight
My place in the middle
Where spirals emerge
A past with a future
Equally in balance
The to & fro of tidal life
The iron in my blood magnetized
To what I cannot say
By what I will not do.
I am agreed to stand the middle
To straddle lies & truth
To make my unequal way.
I remember the solitude of perfection
Once the pattern
Now tilted all a-side.
Now defined by idleness
I feed a neighborly cat
I water sixteen plants
No expectations left
In polite society
For such an isolate as me
A hermit in the cave of time
Lacking the charcoal to
Slash a day – one day
Upon the wall.
And in this heartless stripping away
A promise is uncovered
A fan of words to hold the heat of hell at bay.
I know I am enough for heaven
To gather wings around me
To live in former gravity
My pockets full of sins, like rocks
Will wings be strong enough to carry me?
Is even God enough to forgive the unlived life?
“I AM INNOCENT!”
I supinate my palms
One arm crooked, trembling with effort
“You cannot accuse me!”
But my voice is lost in the courtroom’s
Bloody effulgence of noise
The judge looks away
Shifting papers for dates & times
My wrongdoings rendered evidence
Disappointed to find me
Still sequestered to life
THE YOGINI & THE TWICE-BROKE ARM
The yoga chart behind the door
Bought in faith
The mounted visual aid
My self-improvement swear-in
Dust takes longer to gather there
My twice-broke arm cannot hold the rag
Let alone wield it true.
There was a time
I would have bulled through to be a Hero
To attempt a headstand on eternity
Now? Not even Happy Baby!
I am yet recovering from Shivasana.
IN POINT OF FACT
I have no refills
The pens run dry
Down to pencils
Yellow & thin
Reluctant to record my life
This is what is left of me:
A disembodied voice
A nursery rhyme unremembered
A fool to even care
The last to recall my name
Will end me once for all.
ONCE UPON MY TIME
I only wanted a chance to tell my story
To bare my breast, not beat upon it!
I only needed proof of life
Beyond my departure from it.
I guess coming in without a plan
Except to be here
Was a poor idea
An existential fly
In the non-existent ointment
So this is what it means to age
A pick & choose among the words I’ve swept before me
Blossoms baked & dried in the sun of another’s regard.
I even forgive myself this confessional moment
This bedraggled accounting in want of smiles!
I forgive my independent ways
My chancy decisions
The long dusty distances ventured from home.
I forgive the litter of life
The loitering debts, the trespass of my passing
My feet remain unbound
My vision unhindered
My grim will, undeterred
To live my way
To live light & shadow
In all of it, the only me
The best I know to be.
I remember when I prayed aloud with many
Rather than alone, on paper
Furtive, a dark morning becoming chill
Soft notes playing.
I remember gathering like minds together
Under a domed roof
“Be still & know”
Where I sit amidst a chorus of cactus
A muted hum accompanying all grace
Needing no permission to sing
(Now all subversive in song
Transmitting death on a holy note…)
I have lived in times when children were ripped
From my arms to die by the sword
I remember when I did not look down
Till the hand on my neck forced me
I knew these words, tho not how to write them
I knew these formulas, results never changing
But I have less to live for now
So I write them with impunity.
Come, cut off my hands
Dissect my heart’s four chambers
Brain me unsensible.
I am impervious to curses
A stalwart divinity of One.
I have lived a life seeking eight noble truths
You cannot harm the God in me
Nor divest the Goddess in every cell.
Come, do your bloody worst
I am a stringy old woman with bad teeth
The perfect victim
My findings will never be that for which you search.
My submission will ever be a taint upon your hands
I will not even hate you tho I’ve left love out of it.
Wherein I dwell – that innermost altar you’re seeking to augur out?
Still intact & whole as a Temple
I am barefoot for I stand on holy ground.
THE DOGS BEGIN TO BARK
Brought outside their bedroom dens
Urged from oval, braided rugs
Where their paws tapped a Braille of dreams
Packs & pacts forsworn
Rudely chained to guard posts
In the chill of Autumn mornings
Barking to fill the spaces you once held.
Humanity stripped from inhuman times
Truthsayers hoarse in accusation
The walls of communication
Lined in silk.
But truth wears sturdy shoes
Stands impervious to false victory.
You cannot have the morning!
You may live in the land of no clocks,
Yet all I hear is ticking.